Don Bauder 12:57 p.m., Sept. 19
Acknowledgements are due to deniseathome for leaving a comment about Kiko's Place at the bottom of my bit on Los Panchos. Neither of us could think of the truck's name, and I didn't get a chance to verify if anybody had already mentioned it on Feast! I would have wagered that Ed Bedford might have been to the truck at some point since he's the street food maven around here, and he has in fact done so, albeit briefly.
Here's a more thorough treatment.
Kiko's has a little slice of the liquor store parking lot at the corner of Texas and Meade in Normal Heights (4404 Texas Street, to be precise). It's a good spot as the package store has plenty of parking so there's not likely to be any conflict in stopping at the little truck for some Baja-style street food.
Upping the ante on other noteworthy taco spots, Kiko's Place offers raw clams and oysters for $1.25 as appetizers. Raw shellfish out of a truck? Ok. Not at all spooky. But the truck's staff mentioned selling out of oysters and clams every day, so things must be fresh enough for safety. It turns out that the black clams are wonderful. They're briny, icy fresh, and served with lime and Mexican Saltine crackers. Do not pass them up. They were the delight of the day, only partly because they were so unexpected.
The taco's are hardly anything to sneeze at, either. The biggest problem was that they were too hot to eat immediately and that ordering a spicy octopus taco ($2.75) slowed the order way down and watching everyone else receive their food became tortuous.
A bit on the oily side, the octopus taco was rich and spicy rather than just a one-note hot dish. Garlic fish ($1.25) carried a very satisfying kick of fresh garlic and a heavy dose of crema and cabbage, although the fish was a little soft and crumbly. One taco gobernador is probably enough food for anyone with a "normal" appetite. The shrimps, cheese, grilled peppers and onions in the gobernador had a bit of extra oil left over from the plancha, much like the octopus, but it's not exactly the most sensitive dish to begin with so a little greasy, cheesy messiness is expected.
As deniseathome mentioned, Kiko's has an arrangement with the liquor store that prevents them from selling anything to drink. Water, in the store, can be had for a preposterously low 45 cents per bottle, so all is forgiven.
One other, entirely unexpected bonus: Kiko's Place takes credit cards! There's a half-dollar surcharge for the convenience, but since three tacos, two raw clams, and some complimentary soup only runs up a total bill of $12, fifty cents is acceptable if it means being able to order mariscos to your heart's content. They also have a "coctel de Viagra" on the menu--go order one if you're curious.
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